Questions About Adoption

What Is Cold Mother Syndrome?

Having a child is a big responsibility. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or unsure about it at times.

But, if you are feeling like you don’t want your child anymore or cannot support them, it may be helpful to talk to a trusted friend, family member or professional for support and guidance.

You may also want to consider exploring options such as parenting classes to help you develop the skills and resources needed to provide a nurturing environment for your child.

For immediate assistance, call a 24-hour hotline, such as 1-800-ADOPTION. Or contact an adoption agency to receive more information about cold mother syndrome signs and symptoms.

What Is Cold Mother Syndrome?

Cold mother syndrome describes a mother’s inability to bond emotionally with her child. These mothers are physically present to fulfill the financial and living needs of the child but cannot provide the essence of love, safety and sense of belonging.

This condition can have long-term psychological effects on the child, which can lead to a range of emotional and behavioral problems.

Cold mother syndrome isn’t a medical diagnosis but rather a concept that describes a specific pattern of maternal behavior. Some women develop this from childhood traumas. Other women become “emotionally cold mothers” after they receive exposure to motherhood either voluntarily or not.

A woman with cold mother syndrome may display a lack of necessary parental skills toward her child, such as:

The reasons why a mother is emotionally distant from her child may vary, but the consequences for the child are the same. The mother may seem distant and uninvolved in the child’s life, leaving them feeling unloved and unsupported.

What Are the Cold Mother Syndrome Signs?

Some mothers may struggle with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues that affect their ability to bond with their children. It’s also possible for mothers to be emotionally distant or uninvolved because of other factors, such as work or family stress.

The following are other possible reasons why a woman may be experiencing cold mother syndrome:

These are the primary reasons that can make a woman an emotionally cold mother towards her children. The causes might differ from woman to woman and can be challenging to track down. But,

What Are Cold Mother Syndrome Symptoms and Effects on Children?

No matter the reason a woman may become an emotionally cold mother, the concept of cold mother syndrome can leave the same negative effect on every child. Children raised by an emotionally cold mother may exhibit a range of symptoms.

If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from cold mother syndrome, then it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional.

Therapy can help you develop more positive and supportive relationships with your children and can help children work through the emotional issues caused by cold mother syndrome.

Can an Emotionally Cold Mother Put Their Child up for Adoption?

Yes. You’ll first need to contact an adoption agency and talk with a birth parent specialist, who will provide you with all the information you need to start the adoption process. For an older child adoption, there will be extra documents you’ll need.

Before you can move forward with the process, you should provide: 

In general, your adoption journey will look like this:


Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.

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